A top chef wants to give back his Michelin stars

He’s upset that the famous guide downgraded his restaurant

Updated on 12 July 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

A top chef wants to give back his Michelin stars

An acclaimed chef wants to hand back his Michelin stars, after labelling the restaurant guide’s inspectors as "incompetent".

French chef Marc Veyrat, who oversees La Maison des Bois in Manigod, France has requested that his restaurant cut ties with the famed fine dining guide. The reason for Veyrat’s change of heart is because he thinks Michelin’s team of inspectors failed to judge his restaurant accurately, and therefore wants to hand back the restaurants two Michelin stars.

The French chef wants his restaurant to be removed from Michelin's guide

The upset comes after La Maison des Bois was downgraded from a three star restaurant to a two star in the 2019 Michelin guide to France. In a letter first seen by French publication Le Point, the chef explains why he disapproves of Michelin’s rating system. The chef speaks of the “profound incompetence” of the inspectors, who he believes “know absolutely nothing about cooking” and “couldn’t cook a decent dish” if they tried. It’s worth noting that Michelin inspectors are not chefs, and that historically, experience as a chef is not a pre-requisite of restaurant criticism.  

He also claims that Michelin inspectors did not visit the restaurant multiple times, as they claim to do for all of the restaurants featured in their annual publications. As evidence of his claims, Veyrat points to the guide claiming that the restaurant uses cheddar in one of its soufflés, which Veyrat says is not the case (however, there is no mention of cheddar cheese in Michelin’s online listing for the restaurant.)

One of the dishes served at La Maison des Bois

Michelin has declined Veyrat’s request to be removed from the guide. Speaking in French magazine Le Monde, Michelin’s international director Gwendal Poullennec said: “We are sorry to hear of the pain he is going through, but we will continue to recommend his restaurant.”

If you love a good bit of chef gossip, check out the chaos that ensued when Daily Telegraph restaurant critic William Sitwell wrote a negative review of a Notting Hill restaurant.